Thursday, January 4, 2018

RIP Fred Bass

In case you missed this news from yesterday.

Here's part of the obituary from the Times:

Mr. Bass was 13 when he began working at the Strand, founded by his father, Benjamin. At the time, it was one of nearly 50 such stores along Fourth Avenue.

Except for two years in the Army, he never left, until retiring in November 2017.

A year after taking over as manager of the store in 1956, he moved it from Fourth Avenue to its present location, on Broadway at 12th Street, where it occupied half the ground floor of what had been a clothing business. He set the Strand on a path of unstoppable expansion, taking over the entire first floor, then, in the 1970s, the top three floors, and adding an antiquarian department.

Bass bought the building on Broadway at 12th Street for $8.2 million in 1997. His daughter, Nancy Bass Wyden, now owns the business.


Anonymous said...

I hope the daughter continues the legacy. There are only two remainder stores in Manhattan -- this and Book Culture uptown.

Anonymous said...

The question is how much is the building worth. Maybe the family doesn't want to continue and its hard to turn down tens of millions of dollars. Maybe it isn't their dream to run the Strand. We shall see.

Anonymous said...

Nancy is married to Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, and they are good people in my book.

Anonymous said...

@1:05pm: Do you have any basis for thinking Mr. Bass's daughter and family will not want to continue this business? His daughter has worked with him for a LOONG time! And while, yes, of course, she can "cash out" anytime she wants, the longer the business continues, the more $$ she earns AND meanwhile the value of the building will continue to go up (given what's going on in that area lately).

So unless Mr. Bass's daughter HATES books (which seems unlikely), I wouldn't see Strand going anywhere. Some people actually LIKE what they're doing for a living!

Anonymous said...

Sad to hear about Mr. Bass passing a life well lived indeed,may he quickly return in a noble birth, prayers, thoughts and good vibes to the family,

I'm old enough to remember "Book Row" on 4th Ave! what place in 1968-69 Saturday a few bucks , sometimes that was too much, with a shopping bag to carry all the books home in, sometimes one bag would not hold all of them still have a few of the tomes found on those treasure hunts

so many great books discovered on the Strand's shelves,which i hope will remain available to all of us for generations to come.

Anonymous said...

Fred Bass was always so nice to us when we turned in unwanted titles for cash. It was fun chatting with him and we always looked forward to it. He treated us with respect and those small cash transactions for used titles remains a valuable resource in the neighborhood for those of us who struggle with finances. Very sorry for your loss. RIP, Mr. Bass. Thanks for all of those years of happy searching. May there be many, many more.